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Marlins Vs. Pirates: Bucs To Face Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano And Anibal Sanchez In Upcoming Series

The Marlins have gotten less than they expected from a series of high-profile acquisitions this year.

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The Pirates kick off a home series against the Florida Marlins with a matchup between Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Correia on Friday at 7:05.

On Saturday, Carlos Zambrano takes on A.J. Burnett (7:05). On Sunday (1:35), it's Anibal Sanchez and Jeff Karstens.

Miami hoped to make a big splash this season with the opening of its new ballpark, but the Marlins' record is 44-48, and they're in fourth place in the N.L. East. The Marlins' offense has been led by the mighty Giancarlo Stanton, but Stanton's out right now with knee surgery, and even with him for most of the year, the Marlins are still fifth-worst in the majors in runs scored, thanks in part to poor performances from catcher John Buck and first baseman Gaby Sanchez. They're also getting less than they probably hoped for from top free-agent acquisition Jose Reyes.

Their pitching, meanwhile, is tied with the Phillies for eighth-most runs allowed in baseball, thanks primarily to an awful bullpen that has been hurt by poor performances from Heath Bell, Edward Mujica and Chad Gaudin.

Nolasco, Friday night's starter, gave up four earned runs in 5.1 innings against the Nationals in his last start. Previously, he posted strong outings against the Cardinals and Phillies.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.